Caring For Your Mental Health When There is Difficult News

When news cycles or social media are circulating stories that you find distressing it can be easy to feel bombarded by them and hard to find a way to take a break from being confronted with distressing images or messages. At times like these it can be helpful to take care of yourself in a number of different ways.

Firstly if you are finding that you are feeling distressed from posts popping up on social media or on the news, try to distance yourself from the sources that are exposing you to these. This could be switching to a music playlist rather than the radio, avoiding watching live tv at times the news are on and limiting use of social media platforms. On most devices there are digital wellbeing settings where you can set timers to limit use of certain apps which can really help if you find yourself scrolling through without realising.

Letting friends and family know how the news is affecting you can be really helpful and setting a boundary with them that you don’t want to engage in conversations around those topics while you take a break from.

If you find it hard to break from looking at news or social media on your phone at these times, it can be really helpful to keep a folder of photos or images that make you feel good that you can look through instead.

Lastly, taking time to do things that you enjoy and help connect you with aspects of your life that are positive or comforting can be really helpful. This could be spending time in nature, doing something fun with loved ones, or taking time to engage in a comforting hobby such as baking, craft, reading, or by having a movie night watching your favourite films. These can all lead to a stronger sense of wellbeing and distance you from the content that has been difficult or distressing.